Sci-fi comedy quest in a classic adventure game. A nearby dark hole threatens with sending your ship adrift to deep space and only you, lazy ship engineer Odysseus Kosmos, and your service robot Barton Quest, can stop it!
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Dec 1, 2017
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Available: December 1

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November 17

Odysseus Kosmos - Developer Diaries #6 (and new contest!)



Hey there, friends! Welcome back on board of “San Francisco”, a huge spacecraft travelling far, far way from planet Earth.
First let us get back to our last week’s quiz and the parody game “20 Minutes on a Diet” from the demo version.
Nobody has guessed the right answer! I think, we will repeat this question with a few huge tips ;) And now we’ll have to draw the winner out of our contestants. So this week the key goes to "Ryuna". Congratulations! We will email you the key shortly.
And now let’s return to our tale of the game’s development.
As we’ve mentioned before, adding new interactions is fairly simple. But these also require hand drawn art content. Our lead artist Roman (also the second person in our dynamic duo of a team :) ) and the game art deserve a separate story, but for now let’s just say that graphics creation is far more complicated than game assembly.
Therefore each episode is first created using placeholder graphics (which sometimes looks quite funny). Later on we gradually replace placeholders with final content.



The entire process of an episode creation includes the following stages: first we think the current story part through once again. I’m writing down locations required for this chapter, mini games, items and animations that we have to prepare now and which of these should be created first. At that time Roman is already drawing the first location (this is a very time-consuming task that takes a few months to complete).
Next I’m thinking the episode puzzle scheme through. What will the episode flow look like? What puzzles will be solved, which items collected? The answers to these questions turn into a huge document with dozens of pages. We may call it the “technical scenario” of the episode.
Next I’m assembling the logical part of the game using placeholder graphics (which I’m drawing myself, as I wouldn’t want to distract Roman) and writing the interaction script based on the technical scenario.
In result I have the alpha version of the episode that can be played through to the end but without mini games, dialog texts or sound and with placeholder visuals. But at that point we can give the build to QA specialists to get an idea of how much time will the episode walkthrough take and check the global logics for errors. We can even rework some of the puzzles, get rid of the unwanted ones or come up with new ones (which I’m actively working on by the way).
Here is an example – a placeholder mini game that was taken from the game finale. The player goal was to look for repeatedly appearing asteroids.



As final art is completed I’m adding it to the game, replacing the placeholders, writing dialogs and in-game texts at the same time and scripting mini games in between. We’re ordering sound effects and additional art from outsource sound engineer and artists. This is how gradually the alpha version turns into a nice looking finished episode that will shortly become available to our fans!



And now let's return to our question. The pilot episode (which is currently available on Steam via “Demo” button BTW) features a separate part called “20 Minutes on an empty stomach” – a parody of some other game. Can you guess this game?
Here is a few tips.... anything rings a bell?


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November 10

Odysseus Kosmos - Developer Diaries #5 (and new contest!)



Hey there, friends! Welcome back on board of “San Francisco”, a huge spacecraft travelling far, far way from planet Earth.
First let us get back to our last week’s quiz and the quote written on a note above Oddy’s bed. This surely is a verse from a poem by Robert A. Heinlein, an American sci-fi writer, written for his short story "The Green Hills of Earth". However this title has an even richer story behind it. Check it out on Wikipedia!
And the winner today is GreyAlex! Congratulations! We will email you the key shortly.

After wrapping up character design I started working on the first-playable and on the game engine. There were a lot of serious preparations at this point. A lot of time was spent on designing and thinking the entire system through. I knew that the success of the entire development will depend on the core engine, so my efforts and time would pay off eventually.
A quest includes dozens of locations and hundreds of items. And there is always the temptation to implement this system directly in the code. Let’s say, we have four chests in a scene. Sure, you can write a couple of lines using C# or Java to easily handle the situation and walk players through the game story. And there is another location where you must help players picks two items in a row. You can add another line of code. Sounds easy, isn't it? Not at all! In time the total difficulty of these conditions grows and can become overwhelming. Can you imagine what kind of construct grows in the code as you approach the first hundred items?!
I’ve chosen a different approach. The entire game logic for items is handled by a separate script. The core engine recognizes it and applies the conditions and commands to the items in scenes. If there is a command “make the character use this” – all right, let’s do this,




I can change the name of action in the script at any time to make it look like this:



No need for recompilation or reassembly. Four lines of script handle the four chests. No complexity growth whatsoever! The basic stable game engine does not change, no matter how many objects or interactions are added. You can be sure that the 1000th line will work just the same the 10th. There is no need to copy any strings and the required line can easily be found using the search function. And yes, I am aware of the frameworks available on the market… but none of these offered the required flexibility and some key features that I will focus on some other time.
I should also say a few words about the mini games architecture. There is different logic in different games, so we had no other choice but to write more code. But!



Due to the features of the global engine structure, all mini games featured in all of the game episodes are absolutely isolated from the main engine. So even if something goes wrong in a mini game that won’t affect the main logic. This also has the benefit of non-strict discipline when coding the mini games. You can just work at your own pace and enjoy coding.



Next time we would like to talk about the episode structure of the game or continue our tale about the project development. But now it’s time for another quiz with a prize key for the winner! The pilot episode (which is currently available on Steam via “Demo” button BTW) features a separate part called “20 Minutes on an empty stomach” – a parody of some other game. Can you guess this game?
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About This Game


Odysseus Kosmos and his Robot Quest it’s a traditional 2D point’n'click game with retro-pixel style graphics. It’s an adventure game, a game with heart, about space ship’s engineer Odysseus Kosmos and his service robot Barton Quest.

Download pilot demo episode for free (pilot episode is really shorter than any of the future five full episodes, yet it delivers a small independent story).

Story


You are the ship engineer Odysseus Kosmos; you and your service robot Barton Quest are stuck in deep space near a black hole, all on yourselves. Your shipmates are down on the surface of a planet where time moves far, far slower and you, along with your robot, have been waiting for years for them to return to your orbital station. You were used to your comfortable boredom, but then the ship starts acting funny: it looks like this mysterious black hole affect your ship in strange and unexpected ways, cutting off your communications and threatening with de-orbiting the station and sending you stranded into deep space… unless you can do something to stop it!

Features:


  • Old-school 2D point-and-click adventure
  • Solve hardcore riddles and puzzles to save your ship
  • Explore outer space in a cool retro pixel-art style!
  • Immerse yourself in a sci-fi story whit a pinch of good-hearted humor
  • Live a 5-episodes adventure full of surprises – and enjoy the pilot episode for free!
  • Special game mode for blind people
  • Character customization if you buy 2 DLCs for $40 each naaah, just kidding!

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Storage: 70 MB available space
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